BEST GREEN TEA UK- TOP 8 VARIETIES
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Green tea is the palest in colour, generally a subtle shade of light green or yellow. The green colour comes primarily from chlorophyll extracted from the green leaves by hot water. After the tea leaves are picked, they are lightly processed to prevent some natural changes from taking place. Of greatest interest to this narrative is the auto-oxidation catalyzed by natural enzymes present in the freshly plucked leaves. If allowed to proceed unchecked, this oxidation would convert the tea progressively to oolong and then black tea.
Light steaming or gentle heat, however, prevents this oxidation, thereby preserving important natural antioxidants. The result is the best green tea. The auto-oxidation was originally thought to be caused by microbes and was called fermentation. This is now known not to be the case.
Second, only to water in consumption, green tea is a modern-day cultural icon in China, Japan, and South Korea for its many health benefits. This staple of Asian life has spent 2,000 years earning its title as the world’s oldest beverage. A delicious cup of hot or iced green tea always starts with high-quality tea. Yielding 5o cups of tea per 4 ounces of dry leaves, exquisite green teas are an amazingly affordable luxury. Buy your tea from respected retailers or companies that you trust and that specialize in fine teas. Avoid inexpensive tea no matter how good a bargain it seems to be—it’s not really a bargain, as it is guaranteed to make a disappointing brew.
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- BEST GREEN TEA UK- TOP 8 VARIETIES
Is Green Tea Really Good for You?
Happily, we can say that not only is tea enjoyable, it’s good for you. For centuries, China has praised the health benefits of its native plant. Scientists around the world have researched and examined the leaf exhaustively, and they feel now that they know some of the reasons this simple beverage does so much. Tea provides benefits for bones and teeth. Its vital chemical compounds have been found to fight cancer, help in weight loss, stabilize diabetes and do much to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Tea can even make your skin healthier and prettier. And the most beneficial, most healthful tea is the barely processed leaf from the Camellia sinensis bush — green tea. How does a brew from one plant do so much? That is our story. May it bring you information pure and simple, and pleasures and great.
Buying Green Tea
Appearance and colour are not always clued to quality. Sometimes a tea can be nicely rolled but its taste is mediocre. Also, high-grade greens are sometimes more grey than green in their dried form. Your tea merchant should really know his or her inventory and be able to answer questions about how old the tea is, how it was stored prior to delivery, and how it is stored in the shop. Teas can last for months, but the finest tea will lose its flavour profile in days if not properly stored.
Green tea is a beverage that is most readily enjoyed visually because of the delicate colour of its infused liquor. It is important that the tea be fresh, and the best way to test its freshness is to close your fist tightly around a small amount, breathe in with your nose, then release your fingers. Smell the aroma that has been released from the tea. Is it sweet? Grassy? Pleasant? If there’s no odour or a very faint aroma, the tea is most likely not fresh enough; discard it.
Although this method will tell you much, nothing will reveal the true essence of the tea like cupping it — steeping it with the correct amounts of tea and water heated to the right temperature for the proper amount of time. Whenever possible, ask for a taste sample before buying teas.
While one can often tell much from the dried leaf and the smell of the brewed leaf, the ultimate test is in the mouth. Although there are many variations in colour, your tea merchant should be able to tell you what to expect. If the brew of a green tea is dark gold or orange-amber, that tea may be of a low quality. Most good quality greens should brew up pale green to yellow-green. Brewed leaves should have a clean “chestnut” flavour, plus a pleasant vegetative flavour, and the better ones will have even more complexity. Can’t quite make the transition from tea bags to loose leaf?
To make sure your box of tea bags is fresh organic green tea, remove one bag and take out the tea. Pour boiling water over just the paper teabag. If the ensuing infusion tastes just like water, hooray. If it tastes more like tea, uh-oh — the paper has absorbed the flavour and the tea is simply too old.
There are many kinds of green tea. You can always buy a box of generic green tea bags at the grocery store or online, but walk into your local coffee shop or teahouse and you’ll see an entire row of containers filled with dark and aromatic tea, each with its own label. What are the differences? Well, the taste, fragrance, and colour of green tea vary depending on where it was grown and how it was processed.
For example, most green teas are cultivated in China, Japan, India, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. Not only teas are grown in different countries, but even teas grown in different regions within the same country have different tastes and aromas. Also, make sure its organic green tea. Following are descriptions of some of the best green tea types available for sale in the United Kingdom.
8 Varieties of Best Green Tea Brands UK 2020
1. Jasmine Green Tea
The jasmine flower, thought to have arrived in China from Persia, has been used to scent green teas for nearly 10 centuries, at least since the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). Jasmine is unique among flowers blended with tea because it opens up only at night. As a result, scenting tea with jasmine is also done at night, by covering a bamboo tray or screen of fresh green tea with a blanket of buds or flowers.
This is done in several layers, and in the morning the flowers are removed. This process is repeated, often as many as 11 times, before the delicate fragrance becomes a part of the tea itself. The quality of both the green tea and the jasmine differentiates each of the following styles of jasmine teas. Those from Fujian province are considered to be the best.
2. Matcha Green Tea
This is the famous powdered green tea made from pulverizing the highest-quality gyokuro tea into a fine powder the consistency of talc. Matcha is used primarily in chanoyu. It is made by pouring warm water (about 185°F; 85°C) onto the powdered tea in a warmed bowl, rather than a teapot. A dampened bamboo whisk is used to stir up the matcha and water into a frothy drink that is at once sweet and astringent. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of tea to 1/4 cup of water for thin tea, or two-level teaspoons to 1/2 cup of water for thick tea. Here is some of the best matcha tea available to buy in the UK.
3. Sencha Green Tea
Hunter green, needlelike leaves mark the sencha, which brews up to a delicate green liquor that is both grassy sweet and cleanly astringent. The grades are numerous, and even the mediocre sencha can be a delight; but if you can afford the better ones, be prepared for a treat. Many Asian countries are now processing greens to imitate Japanese sencha and to meet the growing demand worldwide. China and Vietnam both make sencha, though most are exported to Japan.
Sencha is referred to as a “guest tea” because it is of higher quality than, say, bancha or houjicha. Usually, it is prepared with great ceremony in a special teapot with its spout at “9 o’clock” and its handle at”6 o’clock” instead of opposite each other. Called kyusu, the pots are used with handleless cups made of porcelain. Sencha is excellent with sushi.
To brew, warm a small kyusu with hot water and empty it. Place 2 rounded teaspoons (10 ml) of sencha in the pot and add about 1 cup (240 ml) of warm water (175°F; 80°C). Steep for just 1 minute and pour a little tea into each warmed cup. Repeat until the cups are filled. In this way, each guest receives the same quality and amount of tea. Completely pour off the liquor. Sencha is particularly rich in vitamin C and maybe infused several times.
4. Genmaicha Green Tea
This tea is a mixture of bancha or medium-quality green tea, popcorn, and toasted hulled rice kernels. This is a nutty, simple drink that tastes quite wonderful with traditional Japanese foods. Genmaicha is not a fine tea in any sense of the word but, rather, an inexpensive, everyday tea drink that is fun, flavorful, and satisfying. Brew one teaspoon in six ounces of 180°F (82°C) water for about 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Gunpowder Green Tea
This is a tea shaped to look like small pellets that imitate the gunpowder pellets used for ammunition during the 17th century. It was one of the first teas to be exported from China to Europe and, as a result, remains one of the best known there. The original idea for rolling the tea into tight balls, or pellets, was to help preserve their freshness for the long trip from China to Europe. The pellets are still lightly rolled combinations of buds and young leaves.
They unfurl as they infuse, offering a visual demonstration of the”agony of the leaves,” the process so dramatically named in which the curled or rolled dried leaves are infused with water and open up” agonizingly.”
Originally hand-rolled, most gunpowders are rolled by machine today. To test the freshness of gunpowder, pinch or squeeze a pellet in your hand. It should resist pressure if it’s fresh; it will crumble if it’s stale. However, as always, the truest test of freshness and goodness is to cup the tea, drink it properly brewed, and let your palate be the final arbiter.
Gunpowder is frequently used in a tea blend for Moroccan mint, which incorporates a sweet digestive — the native Moroccan spearmint — with the clean, crisp taste of gunpowder green tea. Gunpowders are most commonly from Zhejiang province, and many come from other provinces, such as Qinghai, Anhui, Hunan, and Fujian, in a variety of grades. They brew up a dark liquor.
6. Dragonwell Green Tea
From Hangzhou in Zhejiang province comes the favourite green tea of mainland China. Its fresh, sweet taste has inspired poetry from Lu Yu’s time to today. Its leaves are flat, long, and vibrant green and will yield several infusions of delicate, flowery aroma and flavour from its yellow-green liquor.
Up to eight spring grades of Dragonwell are possible. Each grade is different — sometimes slightly, sometimes radically — but each has that distinctive Dragonwell taste.
7. Gyokuro Green Tea
Gyokuro has been referred to as”history, philosophy, and art in a single cup.”It is the best green tea in Japan. This is a premier, noble green tea made from single buds that are picked once a year. These teas are little and extremely fragrant and tender. Gyokuro should be made with about five heaping teaspoons of long, thin leaves with about 1/2 cup of water at 120°F (49°Q. Steeped for about 1 1/2 minutes, the tea is poured off completely. The tea can then be reinfused with slightly hotter water.
8. Chunmee Green Tea
Also spelt Chun Mei or Zhen Mei, the name is given to these springtime greens because the teas are twisted into curved shapes —not unlike the eyebrows of a beautiful doll. A high-grown tea from the Yunnan province of China, it produces a remarkable aftertaste from its light amber infusion that is reminiscent of plums. Multiple infusions are quite common from this subtle yet provocative tea.
How to Store Tea
The enemies of tea are light, moisture, and odours from other foods, so a tightly constructed opaque container is important, and the size of the container should match the amount of tea. If too little tea is put into a large container, the tea will continue to oxidize. Glass and ceramic are inert and very good for teas; tins often leak because they’ve been soldered. Tea can be stored at room temperature, but if you live in a very humid or very hot environment, store your packages of tea in a cool, dry, dark cupboard for extra protection.
To Refrigerate or Not? Some green-tea sellers recommend refrigeration, but unless the pack ageing is airtight, storing tea in the refrigerator makes it vulnerable to odours and moisture. If you have the advantage of a very stable storage unit, and it can be used only for tea, you might consider that. Temperatures should be kept between 30 and 40˚F (1–4˚C), and you can store the tea for up to six months.
If you like to make tea at the office or shop, store all your tea things in a box and keep it in a cool, dry location.
In general, forget about freezing unless you are confident that your green tea has been packaged very carefully. Otherwise, the water condensation that occurs when the tea is defrosted can greatly damage it. Besides, the best protection for preserving tea is to buy it fresh, in season, and in small quantities — two to four ounces (56-112 g) at most. Since an ounce of tea should generate 15 to 30 cups, that should hold you for a little while!
For thousands of years, healers and monks have noted the many health benefits, particularly green tea — its ability to offer refreshment, increase alertness, and stave off disease. Yet it is reassuring to know that pharmacologists, chemists, physicians, nutritionists, and others in the field of health science are recognizing the health-giving properties of tea when used consistently all through life.